It looks like Mark Tilden and WowWee Robotics may have a little competition come next Christmas season. Caleb Chung – the same fellow responsible for the Furby robot toy, is launching a new company. The company name, “ugobe” has everyone guessing.
The name is so odd, that no one seems to be able to figure out what it means – which may be Chung’s intention. Usually start-up toy companies pick memorable names packed with meaning, like ‘WowWee’, for example.
‘ugobe’ is completely out of left field. So much so that William Cox, the publisher of gorobotics.net, said it “sounds vaguely like an African nation.”
But, rather than sit around scratching our heads in puzzlement, we decided to have some fun with ‘ugobe’ and do some speculative reverse engineering on the name. Let’s assume, just for the sake of arguement, that ‘ugobe’ actually has some hidden meaning, and that it’s not just the initials of the founders, or a random alphabet mashup.
Scientist and inventors, especially those involved in robotics, seem to have a real passion for wordplay. They love turning and twisting language into really amusing puns. This is not a new thing – it’s happened for ages.
Hugo Gernsback, for example, wrote a series of speculative serialized stories back in 1911 that predicted a 27th Century filled with gadgets like television, solar energy, microfilm, vending machines, radar, and numerous other inventions that wouldn’t see the light of day for many, many decades. Gernsback used the creative title of “Ralph124C41+”.
No, not really. Ralph-one-to-foresee-for-one-plus. Just as simple as that.
With that example in mind, what might ‘ugobe’ stand for?
Here’s our best guess so far-
U = you – the best robots are avatars for their owners
GO = mobile – it goes
BE = be, as in ‘it is’ or exists. I think, therefor I am. A robot thinks, therefore it ‘is’.
ugobe specializes in the design of personal mobile robots that think for themselves.
Of course, we could be way off the mark.